Communicating effectively to build connection

Communicating effectively to build connection

Normally, when we’re upset with someone (including ourselves), we communicate in toxic ways – blaming, passing judgments and making demands. This only results in greater conflict and disconnection, and we stay stuck and unhappy.

Last weekend, I attended a workshop on non-violent communication (NVC), and was so touched by what I learned that I wanted to synthesize and share my learning. And while NVC is a simple, neat framework, it is the underlying principles and attitudes that it encapsulates that resonate with me so much.

Here’s what I learnt about communicating effectively in relationships that matter.

A new kind of accountability relationship

One of my biggest highlights of 2018 is a new kind of friendship in my life: a loving accountability partnership.

  • Why? To be more intentional about how we live, to feel supported in our journeys of growth.

  • What do we do? Every week, we share our progress and intentions for our lives with each other. In writing and over a phone call.

  • How do we do it? With a strong dose of empathy, encouragement and trust in each other.

This relationship has transformed the way I live, as well as how I communicate and what I expect across all my friendships. Ultimately, it is a fantastic tool for your personal growth and living the life you want. In this post, I also share specific guidance for setting this up for yourself.

Part 1: Shifting my mindset away from weight loss

I’ve been in deep conflict with my previous approach of focusing on weight loss and emphasis the use of mindfulness to do so.

I don’t want to be mindful because it will help maintain my weight. I don’t want to be driven by fear. I want to be mindful because I want to listen to my body and give it the care it deserves. I want to be mindful because it makes me feel good and it allows me to thrive.

The relevance of personal growth in the social sector 

The social sector in India has a strong achievement orientation. Its all about how much funding, how much scale, how many big name partners. But for sustainable, impactful organisations, you need effective leaders just as much (if not more) as money. Leaders who have a personal growth orientation, who are able to navigate internal obstacles as well as they do external obstacles.